Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows

Our Lady of Sorrows deserves a memorial the day after the celebration of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.  It helps us remember that the Cross was not all flowers and sunshine.

The Alleluia Verse at Mass today suggests that Sept 15 is not so simply a sad day to balance out a day of celebrating the Cross: “Alleluia, alleluia. Blessed are you, O Blessed Virgin Mary, without dying you won the martyr’s crown beside the cross of the Lord. Alleluia, alleluia.” Rather, we can think of Our Lady being grateful to God for having been allowed to be with her Son at His Death. When a loved one dies we are grateful – not happy but grateful -for being able to care for them and suffer with them.

Yesterday we celebrated the glory that was won by the Cross. Today we celebrate the painful privilege of having been with Him when the victory was won.

Pietà (Michelangelo, 1498-1499) detail

“Simeon said to Mary:
Behold, this child is destined for the ruin and rising of many in Israel,
and to be a sign of contradiction
and your own soul a sword will pierce.'”
Luke 2:34-35
Entrance Antiphon, Mass for the Memorial

Pietà (Michelangelo, 1498-1499)

“Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother
and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved
he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son.’
Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother.’
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.”
John 19:25-27

Pietà (Bellini, 1505)

“Even now I find joy in the suffering I endure for you.”
Colossians 1,24a
Reading from Morning Prayer

Pietà di Luco (Andrea del Sarto, 1523-1524)

“Let us rejoice that we have been made sharers in Christ’s passion.”
Antiphon from Morning Prayer

Pietà (Bouguereau, 1876) detail

Rejoice, O sorrowful Mother; after your great sufferings,
you shine forth as Queen, enthroned beside your son.
Antiphon from Morning Prayer

Pietà (Bouguereau, 1876)

Our Lady of Sorrows,
pray for us
that we love enough
to be grateful to have suffered
with our beloved.
Amen.

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